Monday, February 18, 2013

Battle on Bago 2013

We are less than a week away from the 6th Annual Battle on Bago, which continues to grow exponentially each year!  This year the event will be awarding more than $130,000 worth of prizes, including 2 Lund Boats!  There will be prizes awarded for fishing as well as through a raffle, so you don’t even need to wet a line to become a winner!

Tickets for the fishing tournament can be purchased for $30 each at several locations around the lake, as well as online through Fleet Farm and The Reel Shot.  There is no limit on how many tickets can be purchased per person.  Raffle tickets must be purchased the day of the event at Menominee Park in Oshkosh.

Grand Prize (100th Place)
Ticket Sale Locations
All WI Fleet Farm Locations
The Reel Shot in Oshkosh
Jerry’s Bar in Oshkosh
Festival Foods in Oshkosh
Wendt’s on the Lake in Van Dyne
Tew’s Two Sporting Goods in Oshkosh
Dutch’s Trading Post in Fond du Lac
Critter’s Wolf River Sports in Winneconne

Fishing hours are from 6 am to 1:30 pm, and fish will be registered at Menominee Park.  Anglers must be in line by 2:00 pm to register their fish, and prizes will be awarded beginning at 4:00 pm.  Anglers can register Walleye, Burbot (Eelpout), Crappie, White Bass, Perch, and Bluegill.  Total weight of fish is what is recorded, regardless of species.  Anglers are encouraged to bring their fish to the scales as soon as possible, to prevent huge lines at 2:00, and also note that the earliest registered fish will break a tie for a prize.

Fishermen can fish both Lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts, and Poygan.  The tournament is open to ice fishing only, and all state fishing regulations must be followed.  

Battle on Bago Boundaries

The festivities kick off on Friday night with a fish fry and live music by Road Trip.  There will also be a live auction from 6:00-7:00 Friday night, so don't miss out!  On Saturday, the tents will be rocking as Happy Schnaaps Combo will be playing on stage from 11:30 to 3:30.  John Gillespie will once again be handing out prizes at 4:00, and then raffle prizes will be awarded at 5:00.

For those of you that haven't heard about last year's ice issue, here is a little reminder.  Please don't park on the lake in close proximity with other vehicles, as the ice will not be able to support all the weight.  Nobody wants to deal with their truck submerged in the lake when returning from a day of fishing out on the lake!  Ice conditions are a bit better this year, so hopefully there will be more people driving out onto the lake rather than parking and taking ATV's and snowmobiles out.

Sponsors for this year’s event include; Mills Fleet Farm, Mercury Marine, The Reel Shot, Lund Boats, Frabill, JJ Keller, Schenck, Associated Bank, Critter’s Wolf River Sports, Miller Lite, Duck Bay Lodge, Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jiffy Ice Drills, and many more listed on their website.
For much more information on this event, check out the website at

Weekend Winnebago Report

Made it out on the ice once again, this time I headed down to Oshkosh with hopes of finding some schooled up Walleyes out from the river.  Sunday morning started out with brutal cold, as I had -7° as I made my way over Otter Street's bridge off Merritt Ave. at 6:30.  Ice conditions off Oshkosh were almost ideal, as there was hardly any snow or major shoves.  Many people took advantage of this, as there were many cars and minivans out on the lake. 

Nick and I began the day on the edge of the group to the north, and marked multiple fish near bottom, but couldn't get these fish to respond to anything.  After 45 minutes of building frustration, we finally decided to make a move and try to locate some more active fish.  We headed off on our own to an area where I had caught Walleyes in previous winters.  Same news here, as we could mark fish but couldn't catch them.  Our third move landed us on the edge of another group that had setup straight off the river mouth around 3 miles out.

The fish seemed to slowly turn on around 9:00, as I landed a decent Perch and a couple White Bass.  I still hadn't marked any good schools of Walleyes, so again we decided to make a move.  Thanks to a call from my friend Dale, we knew exactly where to go!  We cut in about 50 yards from Dale, and within 5 minutes I had 2 Walleyes and a nice Crappie on the ice!  I had another Walleye race up to my Jigging Rapala and bite, but I was a little late on my hook set.  We had another school off Walleye fill up the screen of my flasher, but they seemed to be on the move as none of them responded to my lure that time.  Minutes later a group of 5 guys on 4 wheelers cut 10 holes within 30 yards of us and spooked the fish out of the area.

Nick and I made several small moves in the area hoping to relocate the school of Walleyes, but after 5 moves without any luck we decided to head back to where we had caught the White Bass.  Within minutes of stopping at this spot, we had 5 White Bass and a Crappie on the ice!  These fish all took a silver #3 Swedish Pimple naked.  Unfortunately our time ran out, and we had to call it a day in the midst of the best action we had seen all day, seems to happen to me alot lately!

Overall we had an enjoyable day on the ice, despite the less than favorable cold to start the day!  Most guys that we talked to along the way reported similar results.  There were lots of people moving throughout the day, which also told the story on how tough the bite was.  Expect fishing to improve as the Walleyes continue to form schools and approach the river.  We have also noticed an explosion of Crappies on the Winnebago System, both on Lake Winnebago and Lake Poygan this winter, there have been a good amount Crappies caught!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Winnebago Fishing Report

Fishing on Lake Winnebago has really picked up over the past week, with many reports of good numbers of fish being caught off Oshkosh, mainly 1-2 miles out.  The fish are schooling up now, and will continue to do so over the next few weeks, in preparation of their annual run upriver to spawn.

Right now guys are pulling up a large variety of fish within the groups, which is a little unusual.  White Bass, Crappies, Walleyes, Perch, and even Saugers are all being caught out of the same hole.  This makes fishing fun, as you don't know what you have until it enters your fishing hole!

Best techniques out on the lake right now are as usual, stay mobile!  These schools of fish continue to move, especially when fishing pressure increases.  A flasher is an essential item to have in order to catch these roaming fish, since many times they will come in suspended off the bottom.  I recommend a Vexilar FL-22, which is the best quality flasher for the price that you can buy!

Once you find the school, guys are catching them on #3 Jigging Rapalas, Buckshot Rattle Spoons, and Swedish Pimples.  Some guys prefer to tip their lures with a minnow head or Waxworm, while others prefer to fish their lures naked.  Personally, I like to start without bait, and if the fish are unwilling to take the lure I start tipping it.

My Favorite Jigging Rapala for Winnebago!

What has been astonishing on Lake Winnebago this winter is the numbers of Crappies we are seeing!  Normally you might catch 1 or 2 a winter while fishing the mud, this year guys are getting 10 or more in a day!  I also noticed this last spring as we were catching them while trolling for Walleyes.

Ice conditions continue to vary out on the lake, but ATV travel has been fine off of Oshkosh, and guys are still taking their trucks on the ice off the east shore.  Expect these conditions to stay the same, as we don't have any crazy warm or cold temperatures in the forecast.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dynamic Lures Presents the HD Ice

Dynamic Lures recently came out with the HD Ice, a 2 inch, 1/5 ounce vertical jigging lure that resembles a minnow.  The lure has a hollow inside with a rattle, and when jigged upwards, gives off an intense vibration and rattle that is sure to attract nearby fish. 

The HD Ice comes in 8 different colors, and can be fished through the ice and also during the open water season.  This lure is specially designed for Trout, but Walleyes, Perch, Crappies, Bass, and just about any other fish you can think of can also be caught on the HD Ice.

What separates the HD Ice from other vertical jigging lures is the lifelike shape, size, and finish the bait offers, teamed with its unique action and fish attracting vibration.  The HD Ice can be fished aggressively when targeting aggressive fish, while at times a more subtle presentation will also yield great results.

 I recently had a chance to try the HD Ice out for myself, and was very impressed with its action!  A quick upwards lift makes the lure vibrate and rattle, and then when the rod tip is lowered, the HD Ice drops back down on its side, making for a realistic look of a dying baitfish.  The HD Ice can also be twitched in place and lifted and dropped, which at times can also drive fish crazy.

This versatile lure can also be used during the open water season in vertical jigging situations in deep water for Trout, Walleyes, and even Bass!  Make sure you check out the Dynamic Lures website to learn more about their state of the art products, and get a few to add to your tackle box.